USDA NIFA Sacramento 2017 Listening Session 2

USDA NIFA Sacramento 2017 Listening Session 2


all right so welcome back to NIFA Listens investing in science to transform lives we’re gonna get started right off the bat with Joaquina Scott Kankam from Prairie View A&M University is here with us today it doesn’t look like it so we’re gonna move on our next slot was for miss Helene Dillard is she here with us today I think I did see Helene yes there she is the University of California College of Agriculture and environmental sciences welcome Helene good morning my name is Helene Dillard and I’m the Dean of the College of Agricultural and environmental sciences at UC Davis I am honored to have this opportunity to comment on the top priorities in food in agricultural research extension and education as well as the most promising science opportunities for advancing food and agricultural sciences these topic areas align well with our College mission which is to promote agricultural environmental and social sustainability the research teaching and public engagement to meet the challenges of global change in the 21st century recently the USDA reported 12.7 percent of US households were food insecure in 2015 which is approximately 42.2 million people the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates 795 million people 11 percent of the population were unable to meet their dietary energy requirements between 2014 and 2016 and globally about one in eight people do not have access to sufficient food FAO says we must increase food production 60 percent by the year 2050 to meet the needs of the Earth’s population which is expected to grow from seven to nine billion people within the next 35 years and we have to find a way to feed them using essentially the same amount of agricultural land that we use now we face a rising demand for animal and other proteins and an increased need for vegetables fruits and nuts which are the basis for a healthy diet at the same time fresh water for use in agriculture is decreasing thus there is an urgent need for increased national investment in food and agricultural research extension and outreach and education for the next generation of leaders so let me take a moment to focus on some of those pressing issues developing sustainable approaches to food production increasing nutrition and providing secure sources of food are absolutely critical in the broadest sense sustainable agriculture and food systems ensures secure safe and high quality healthful food for the world’s population without creating negative social and environmental impacts unfortunately about one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted through food production and consumption systems pre and post harvests that adds up to approximately 1 trillion US dollars translated to calories this amounts to one in four calories that are never consumed to feed the world we must make sure food is available the supply is stable and the food itself is a reliable source of nutrients we need to increase yields while maintaining environmental sustainability develop plant and animal varieties that can adapt to changing environments and decrease food waste by creating a more efficient system for distribution another critical area of focus is Community and Economic Development especially as our work human workforce shifts there are a variety of ways that innovation and technology can help conventional breeding and biotechnology can enable major crop improvements that can result in additional careers and jobs in the supply chain precision agriculture tools such as global position system wireless networks drones and crop sensors and data analytics results in advanced workforce opportunities for our rural communities research sponsored through NIFA can play a significant role in this progress soil health is another critical area soil is being lost at a rate that is 10 to 40 times faster than the rate of formation soil microbial activity fertility and high organic matter content are the essence of healthy farms healthy soil can provide a major ecosystem service by sequestering carbon and act as a defense against our changing climate there are more microbes in one teaspoon of healthy soil than there are humans on earth under the right conditions these microbes can flourish strengthening the soil so that it can grow more food hold more water break down pollutants prevents erosion and sequester carbon we need to reach the diversity we need to research the diversity of soil microbes create systems where soil can naturally act to remove waste and pollutants and provide incentives to growers to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by managing soil health as a land-grant university it is our mission to meet the needs of the public teach students in a manner that fosters partnerships and collaboration advance knowledge through creative research and scholarship and apply that to address the needs of society education educating Future Leaders is the cornerstone of that mission and must be a critical focus area to address the needs of people impacted by food insecurity our educators must be familiar with the populations most affected diversifying our students who are interested in the field of agriculture will better connect us with people in most need of support this also includes fostering gender equality in agriculture women grow more than half of the world’s food they comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labor force globally and that’s up to 70% in some countries yet they are unable to access the same resources as men because governments and agencies aren’t always aware of the obstacles and challenges women in agriculture face to feed the world we really need to invest in the women who are tending the fields empowering these women with education and resources to succeed raises the opportunities and economic success of their families and communities which results in an increase in productivity and growth for the greater society in closing funding from NIFA in critical areas of need can have a tremendous impact for example with funding from NIFA scientists in several states are focusing on saving the united states citrus industry a disease called citrus greening also known as huánglóngbìng has ravaged citrus groves throughout Florida this year this devastating disease was detected in California our University of California scientists are conducting critical research to better understand how Asian citrus psyllids transmitt disease to citrus trees and they are developing practices that either kill Asian citrus psyllids or prevent the tiny insects from spreading the disease to more citrus trees NIFA funded work was also critical in generating integrated research and extension information to help our livestock ranchers during our recent historic drought in California rangeland support the livelihoods of millions of people around the world while supplying critical ecosystem services drought is a significant natural hazard for an industry that is reliant on climate sensitive resources and NIFA has support has helped us develop strategies to better manage our rangelands during drought as scientists policymakers and leaders we have an obligation and a responsibility to seek solutions but we need stable significant competitive and capacity funding to reach our goals our world food and nutrition challenges our multi-dimensional and of critical importance I hope I have communicated the urgency of these topics it is imperative that we address the local and global problems of food now as the effects of climate change are already altering our agro ecosystems and challenging our collective ability to feed ourselves thank you Thank You Luis Tupas deputy director for bioenergy climate and environment at your school what are the fastest growing areas of research as well as in terms of your student enrollment for programs so the fastest-growing areas of research in our College of Agricultural and environmental sciences I would say first off it’s in sustainable food production that would be both farming and ranching and that is a significant growth area for us we have scientists for example that are looking at greenhouse gas emissions from livestock we have these big bubbles that they’re in so that we can monitor all the gases that are emitted we’re looking at lots of different cropping systems and we also have an initiative that started in our College but its blossoming to several other colleges and that is called the smart farm looking at precision agriculture sustainable agriculture and being efficient in our agricultural production in terms of students we have grown from about 4,000 undergraduates about in the year 2000 to 7343 this year so we’re growing we’re a college that’s absolutely growing we get over 10,000 applications a year for admission and we only have 2200 seats and that includes transfer and freshmen so there’s tremendous interest from our students in food food production foods agriculture precision agriculture the other big area though is environmental policy we have a lot of students in those majors tremendous interests there I would say that of the two there are two monstrous size majors in our College one is animal science and the other is agricultural economics and both of those have over a thousand students each in the major so on the AG econ side there’s tremendous interest in that food but there’s also a lot of interest in what they call Resource Economics which is around you know gas oil production and things like that so tremendous interest in our College and a lot of interdisciplinary work occurring with the college of engineering the veterinary school that Michael lairmore was from and also with our College of Biological Sciences [Applause] okay moving on so is Jane Sooby in the audience ah there you are Jane okay so Jane’s Sooby is coming to us from the California certified organic farmers welcome Jane thank you very much good morning everybody and good afternoon to those of you online and thank you so much NIFA administrators and staff for holding this listening session in California sometimes we feel like we’re pretty far away from DC where all the action is happening but we are a very significant agricultural state and we welcome this opportunity to directly address you and share with you our priorities so let’s see here we go I wanted to start off by thanking NIFA for two really important programs OREI the organic agriculture research and extension initiative and also ORG or the organic transitions program I really need to update this slide it’s based on a report that was issued just last year but it only looks at funding through the year 2014 but those two programs invested a total of 142 million dollars into a hundred and eighty nine organic research projects between 2002 and 2014 which averages 11 million dollars a year for organic research the good news is that the 2014 farm bill increased those funding levels to about and subsequent appropriations have released approximately eighteen million dollars a year for OREI and another four million dollars for ORG so we’re looking at about twenty two million dollars funding specifically dedicated to organic research annually right now but these funding levels are still subject to political pressures of the appropriations process every year and to the in the farm bill discussions all the time or always having to defend these funding levels every five years when the farm bill comes up and and then in the appropriations process and so what we’d like to see is more integration of organic research priorities into other parts of NIFA programs so that we’re not so subject to those political vicissitudes but I also want to let you know that as a non-profit we’re fortunate enough to be able to engage on all fronts on these issues we’ve participated in the US House AG committees listening sessions where they were holding all around the country we had two here in California and we definitely advocate to Congress itself that they release more funds for organic research and in fact there is currently a marker bill that we hope will be incorporated into the farm bill that would increase the funding levels for organic research to fifty million dollars a year which would keep this funding continuous over the the farm bills so we we have some funds but this is a really thriving and important sector of Agriculture and we think that it warrants additional funding I’m still learning the structure of NIFA about all the different programs there’s so many of them but I took a look and it seems to me that all of the AFRI foundational programs all of the challenge areas the specialty crop research initiative the youth AG education programs and probably many more AFRI programs could easily and productively incorporate organic priorities so I just wanted to talk a little bit more about what is organic and why are we talking about organic we hear a lot from the University and agencies about sustainable agriculture which actually does have somewhat of an official definition but a certified organic production is regulated under federal law there are a certain set of standards that are in the law and organic farmers are required to implement specific cultural practices including crop rotation they are under legal mandate to not apply any materials that would contaminate the water or the soil etc etc and they’re not allowed to use synthetic inputs and one of one of the major differences that we’ve seen in organic soils is that soils perform very differently when they’re managed with the biological inputs instead of from synthetic instead of being managed with synthetic fertilizers so we’re regulated under federal law has certain practices that farmers ranchers and food processors must follow and this is at the moment almost a 50 billion dollar a year industry in the United States and that 50 billion dollars a year in retail level sales is basically premise on 7.5 billion dollars of certified organic farm gate production so overall in the United States 5.3 percent of the US food sales are organic and 82 percent of US households purchase organic products all together the federal database managed by the National Organic Program shows that there are 25 thousand organic operations in the United States fourteen thousand two hundred of them are farms all of these operations could benefit from NIFA funded research as well as the consumers who purchase organic products so to NIFA’s second question studying these topics these promising aspects of organic farming practices we believe will advance food and agricultural science for everybody not just for organic farmers but a lot of these questions are really important for conventional producers as well so we’ve you’ve probably heard of the Rodale Institute they’ve done a lot of work over the years showing that organic practices sequester carbon and they’ve really promoted organic farming as a way to ways to mitigate climate change we’ve found a lot of studies show that organically managed soils have greater water holding capacity and this may translate to higher yields under drought conditions a lot of research also indicates that well integrated biological systems may produce crops that have better resistance to diseases and pests so these are some of the promising aspects of organic systems that we would love to see studied a little more so that we understand what’s behind these processes and the mechanisms behind this and just make this information more available to farmers so that they can be more intentional in producing these environmental benefits through their farming practices so we also have collected some research priorities from a few different sectors of the organic community first of all our colleagues with the organic farming Research Foundation have been promoting organic research priorities for many many years and most recently they’ve published a national organic research agenda that sets forth these main priorities for organic farmers building and measuring soil health crop fertility and nutrient management that may sound like a no-brainer to people who just apply nitrogen but when you’re using biological they based inputs compost and you’re relying on the breakdown the mineralization by microbes in the soil matching up the availability of those nutrients with the crop need is an ongoing challenge for organic farmers weed control is the biggest issue ever always for everybody survey after survey shows that to be true and clearly that’s true for conventional growers as well so a lot of this comes back to the basic research that we always need to have done but perhaps done more of a systems context so that we have a better understanding of what the underlying dynamics are breeding crop varieties well-suited for organic production is also important topic so there are also process or in handler research priorities just off the top a few of them are developing alternatives to chlorine materials for processing developing some biodegradable cleanser materials using organic celery to cure meats and also coming up with alternatives to BPA for lining cans we’ve also seen that there has been a lack of investment in certain production areas rice cotton and tree nut production beef and pork production and economics and the labor needs of organic farmers so there are some other synergies in the organic organic production that we think will also be fruitful areas for research that could be integrated into other NIFA programs the health implications of measurably lower pesticide residues on organic than on conventional foods which farming practices support biodiversity and there’s an ongoing debate around nutrient content on organic foods whether or not organic foods actually have higher nutrient content the underlying question is which production practices enhanced nutrient content in crops we’ve also seen some economic research that indicates that centers of organic activity have lower poverty and higher income rates in those counties what are the mechanisms behind that and how can they be leveraged overall and kind of a stretch topic for everybody to think about beyond fossil fuels how are we going to retool our American agriculture in an era when we have increasingly less availability of fossil fuels and we’re going to be needing to base our food production on renewable energy sources so I’m with the California certified organic farmers our mission is to advance organic agriculture for a healthy world we do this through certification we are a certification agency we also do education advocacy and promotion thank you very much for your time and I welcome any questions [Applause] great thanks okay great next up we have Amanda Crump from the Western integrated pest management Center welcome Amanda hi and thank you for this opportunity to provide a comment today I’m Amanda Crump I’m the director of the Western integrated pest management center the Western integrated pest management center is a USDA NIFA funded program that is responsible for coordinating Regional integrated pest management efforts we link NIFA with the western states Pacific island territories and the tribal nations located in the west and we connect those IPM programs and researchers with each other our goal is a healthier West with fewer pests my comment today is informed by my work in agriculture by my research on education and by the stakeholders who regularly communicate with the Western IPM center it’s also driven by the unique challenges we face in the West you heard this this morning but I’m gonna say it again the West is a really special place but what makes it special also makes it a challenging place to manage pests nearly every day the highest and lowest temperatures in the 48 contiguous United States are found somewhere in the West our climates range from tropics to tundra the West is home to seven of the ten most urban States but also home to a large rural population most of the nation’s public lands are in the West and western crops are produced adjacent to those natural areas our cropping systems are also incredibly diverse with over 400 crops being grown throughout the region and if our region wasn’t complicated enough all of our struggles are exacerbated by the retirement of researchers and extension educators in all of our fields of study so with these challenges in mind I think that supporting smart safe and sustainable pest management should be a top priority for NIFA and here’s why everyone has to manage pests whether those pests are found in their homes recreational areas or farms unfortunately many of the ways pests are currently managed are not sustainable or safe however NIFA has funded of supported research extension and education on pest management through programs like the Agriculture and Food Research initiative and the crop protection and pest management program these programs fund pest detection and diagnostic efforts they fund improvements in regulatory systems and they fund the development of new pest management strategies these small investments by NIFA have so far protected our multi-billion dollar agricultural industry but given how complex our pest challenges are becoming in light of the rapid establishment of new invasive species the impact of shifting climate and weather events on endemic pests and the limited labor and expertise to develop new pest management tools just to name a few of our challenges we really need to keep up and expand this work so supporting smart safe and sustainable pest management is good for our environment our health our pocketbooks and our food security as the Western IPM center director I see three big opportunities to advance food and agricultural sciences through investments in pest management I have degrees in both social and biophysical sciences and manage a very diverse team some of whom you’ll meet later so I think I have a unique perspective first and this was mentioned before I see great value in creating a space for interdisciplinary teamwork look at integrated pest management it’s an integrated discipline where there’s there room for entomologists plant pathologists weed scientists and vertebrate pest managers but we’re also home to ecologists and environmental scientists and economists but I would argue that we need to start engaging other disciplines too for example we struggle with labor availability in the West and the labor shortage could be addressed through either a technological or a political solution but those solutions rely on engaging engineers political scientists or others in addition to traditional agricultural scientists second I believe that we have a great opportunity to right now to evaluate our previous work and use that evaluation to move agriculture forward ten years ago the US Agency for International Development reviewed old projects that had funded because they knew that research often takes more time to mature than in any given grant cycle US aid rediscovered a small grain storage technology developed at Purdue University that had been sitting on the shelf for nearly two decades the agency dusted it off and reintroduced the technology and now it’s used in tropical climates throughout the world to keep seeds pest free by evaluating our work in a rigorous way we may find forgotten gems and hidden accomplishments that improve lives and inspire current and future researchers and extension educators third we have to invest in training a new generation of professionals not only do we need to train people to do our work but we need to also be training people in other disciplines to engage with us the challenges we face are going to be addressed by young and creative people who are committed to environmental and economic justice we need to mentor and engage them and we need to structure our communication efforts to develop partnerships with them in conclusion I see many opportunities to advance pest management through long term investments and interdisciplinary teams evaluating past accomplishments and developing creative capacity in the next generation of professionals and I think these three things would fit well with NIFA’s work and it advanced its mission thank you [Applause] Luis has a question so Amanda what do you see as the future of the best management centers of the regional pest management centers I see the future is bright we are always looking for additional resources to fund the creative things we have to do but I like to be optimistic about the work we’ve done so if you look at the four regional IPM centers and we’re doing a really good job of trying to evaluate our the things we’ve been doing in our contributions to each of our regions but if you just take the Western IPM center I feel as though we’ve been able to show that by engaging people across across each border by engaging people in different kinds of sectors for instance and Natural Resources and urban sectors that we’ve been able to advance in a great pest management yeah so I think this kind of collaborative thing is definitely something that is sustainable Amanda one of the things that I’ve seen in California is a lot of what I would call invasive pests that are coming in on shipments through the sea and airplanes whatever do you see a role for the Western Center in trying to curtail some of the introduced pests that we’re dealing with now thanks for your question yeah so invasive pest invasive and resurging endemic pests are definitely a problem all throughout the west and we see new invasive pests come every day into California and then also into some of the Pacific island territories and other parts of the western United States currently the Western IPM center has a small effort behind trying to support the work on invasive species but because of the level of funding that we have what we have chosen to do is to invest in in invasive species that attack minor crops or a minor like minor cropping systems or situations so for instance we don’t have nearly the amount of money that it would take to combat Asian citrus psyllid but we can make good investments to get people on their way to battle pests like coconut rhinoceros beetle for instance and so I would love to see the Western IPM Center create a have a play a greater role in coordinating efforts regionally in invasive species and that would be something that I’d love to find more funding to do because I think that together with other partners that we have throughout the West all the states working together that we could really do a lot of that good work Thanks okay we’re moving right along okay so are you ready for some more trivia all right just a couple more okay so what year was the USDA founded all right USDA folks you can answer this one 2009 yeah I won’t say that Jeff Steiner said that 1862 all right so he’s a really easy one who is the director of NIFA dr. Sonny Ramaswamy that’s right all right so we’re about five minutes ahead of schedule but I’ll keep us going okay so we have Jim Farrar here today he’s with the University of California integrated pest management programs Jim I thought he was there he is sorry good morning thank you for the opportunity to provide input to NIFA as you plan for the future my name is Jim Farrar and I am the director of the University of California statewide integrated pest management program this program is housed in the university of California Ag and natural resources area which was introduced this morning by Katie Panarella the University of California integrated pest management program began in 1979 and is current and currently consists of 11 IPM advisors located throughout the state of California and 20 staff in Davis California working to translate University pest management science into usable safe and effective pest management tools the program also works collaboratively with Cooperative Extension specialists and advisers throughout California and with University Extension personnel throughout the western states to stay abreast of current issues avoid duplicative effort and can continue to improve pest management safety and effectiveness integrated pest management is a science-based approach to managing pests while minimizing economic human health and environmental risks from pests and pest management practices pests pose economic human health and environmental risks and pest management practices pose economic human health and environmental risks minimizing these risks while managing pests is the goal of integrated pest management and I’d like to say also that integrated pest management is system agnostic in the sense that you can apply it to manage pests in any system where you’re managing pests whether it’s conventional agriculture organic agriculture your yard and garden or inside the home for pests inside the home integrated pest management plays a central role in agricultural sustainability prevention of food waste food safety and security urban landscapes and residential safety examples include interactions between soil fertility irrigation and pest management in production agriculture food waste due to rot organisms or making the produce less appealing less aesthetically appealing pests impact the aesthetics of our urban landscapes and the safety of our urban landscapes and pests also can also even attack us in our homes and apartments in our beds like bedbugs the western states produce hundreds of specialty crops which Amanda mentioned earlier these are the fruit nut and vegetables necessary for a healthy and varied diet some examples include pecans in New Mexico hazelnuts in Oregon leafy greens in California and Arizona table grapes and raisins in California and hops in Washington and Oregon each specialty crop has its own pest and disease complex and each needs a specifically designed integrated pest management program the western states also have important challenges with drought fire water resources and increasing urban populations more specifically my state California is home to 39 million people produces half of the nation’s fruits nuts and vegetables and has some of the nation’s most spectacular natural areas each is under constant threat from new invasive species like Asian citrus psyllid and the disease it transmits long long bean and citrus and we’re surging endemic pests like bedbugs and pine bark beetles these are not small problems huánglóngbìng is currently an existential threat to Florida citrus and may become an existential threat to California citrus bedbug infestations drive people too often ineffective and dangerous do-it-yourself remedies tens of millions of pine trees have been killed by drought and bark beetles in California natural areas with implications for fires watersheds and ecosystems IPM programs need to continually adapt to challenges from these new and established pests and shifts in societal tolerance for pests and pest management practices and as expressed through laws and regulations the rapidly changing pests spectrum impacts food safety and supply and can degrade our environment directly through destruction of ecosystems or indirectly through pest management practices our ability to respond to invasive and resurgent endemic pests rests on a network of agricultural research and extension scientists working with stakeholders and clientele this network includes Cooperative Extension Agricultural Experiment stations land-grant universities state and federal agencies and federally funded organizations like the National clean plant Network the national plant diagnostic network the regional IPM centers which Amanda mentioned sustainable AG and research education program ir4 and many others we need to strengthen these collaborative efforts among pest management experts in Plant Pathology nematology entomology weed science and vertebrate pests and to expand to collaborations with technology experts in robotics sensors artificial intelligence supply chain logistics and energy to solve today’s complex problems in integrated pest management agriculture food systems and urbn environments much like the biomedical revolution it is the integration of multiple disciplines into single projects that can lead to transformative innovation to improve pest management agricultural productivity food safety and ecosystem services while also giving rise to new businesses supporting and nurturing both the existing and new types of collaborations will be vital to continuing to meet the challenges of invasive and resurgent pests and to realizing the potential of new technologies in pest management and agriculture thank you for listening [Applause] somebody realizes they lost their pen it’s up here okay so next we have Missy Gable not sure if I saw Missy ah there she is okay so Missy gable from the University of California division of Agriculture and natural resources welcome Missy well to everyone with NIFA those here and those who are not physically present in Sacramento today I want to say thank you for this exciting and really tremendous opportunity for all of us to share our thoughts with you sorry let’s go back here my name is Missy Gable I am the statewide director of the Master Gardener program for the University of California division of Agriculture and Natural Resources I’m here today to present on behalf of the national initiative for consumer horticulture or NICH NICH is a collaborative effort of academics and Industry people from across the United States and working together we aim to raise awareness and garner support for the field of consumer horticulture so what is consumer horticulture consumer horticulture is gardening in its most broad sense it is the cultivation use and enjoyment of plants gardens and related horticultural items and services consumer horticulture spans spans a wide variety of landscapes and participants it includes anything from container gardens on a backyard patio to large-scale botanical gardens that have massive footprints in our communities it also spans irrigation technicians to landscape supply producers as I mentioned consumer horticulture has participants from all walks of life again theNICHeffort is a combination of academic industry folks and we’re looking to make impact for those participants in consumer horticulture including the public and the consumers consumer horticulture has seen a steady and reliable upward trend specifically since around 2008 Millennials are leading this trend we’re very excited to say and there are incredible opportunities in the field of consumer horticulture and with need for research and extension without research in products and service to inform products and services in the field of consumer horticulture and without the valuable extension work to educate the public and the consumers we have situations where practitioners of consumer horticulture may be using excessive amounts of water may be over applying synthetic products to deal with pest issues may be inadvertently introducing invasive species that we’ve already heard so much about today so I find that there are incredible promising science opportunities in the field of consumer horticulture I’m going to share just a couple of them with you now here in California an average of 50% of residential water use is in the landscape and that is a range actually on coasts and coastal areas where we have a lot of ambient moisture in the air landscape water uses around 30% but in our urban residential areas we’re seeing 60% of residential water use being applied in the landscape it’s a tremendous tremendous amount of our natural resource valuable natural resource that is going to the beautification of our gardens and our landscapes in our communities in times of drought very strict water usage standards are placed on residents of California now consumer horticulture has the ability to save water not only through research into new plants but also into extension areas where we can help the public in adjusting their water standards in removing unused or unnecessary turf grass in applying mulch to preserve water content in your soil and in conducting effective irrigation audits in the home landscape also in California but it’s not certainly not unique to California we have an increasing population as our population increases the space that we have available in landfills is decreasing and we have a tremendous need for viable options to deal with waste management it’s estimated that 30% of items going to the landfill are organic and compostable so I see promising opportunities specifically in extension related to diverting green waste from landfills also anaerobic decomposition that takes place in landfills is producing methane gas a common greenhouse gas according to Cal recycle we have an opportunity to come in and help the public to understand how to divert that green waste from their landscape in a bio cycle study 16 households were able to divert almost 6 tons of green waste in a mere 10 month period we also have an opportunity in the area of consumer horticulture to inform and promote the use of integrated pest management practices specifically related to home use of synthetic control methods for pests we have unfortunately a pervasive issue with over-application or inappropriate application of pesticides by the homeowner and we’re looking to increase Extension programming so that we can inform integrated pest management practices we teach the public about preventive methods we teach the public about least toxic control methods we inform people on the use of pesticides and how to accurately read a pesticide label we work to eliminate runoff issues from home landscapes where pesticides are over-applied and we work to eliminate exposure issues that homeowners deal with on a regular basis when they’re trying to manage pests in their landscape we’re work in these areas now but there’s a tremendous amount of effort that can still be applied and a significant amount of work to do as we’ve already talked about today California and many states deal with exotic invasive species on average California gains new and potentially damaging invasive species every 60 days these invasive species threaten agricultural urban and to rural landscapes it results in incredible direct economic losses to the state of California specifically in California approximately three billion dollars but also massive indirect losses which cost cannot be calculated we’ve heard a little bit about Asian citrus psyllid and the disease it vectors huánglóngbìng unfortunately we believe that that was unintentionally introduced to the state of California through smuggled bug bed wood from a homeowner who was looking to augment make improvements on their citrus tree extension programming can be a huge part of educating the public about how to be a first responder how to avoid bringing exotic and bases in unintentionally into our state and other states how to identify those issues and how to be a part of the solution working with state and national efforts to eliminate and eradicate those pests as you can see there’s tremendous opportunity in the field of consumer horticulture I look forward to the day when we have more testing for water needs of plants so that we can inform the industry support the industry and ultimately support our consumers and making more informed better decisions about the plants that they’re putting into their landscapes there are opportunities for selective breeding for desirable traits of plants certainly when we’re looking at reducing green waste selective breeding for size of plants is critical when looking at adjusting our landscape water use to reduce the amount of water we’re applying identifying plants that thrive in low water environments also understanding the tolerance of existing plants is critical and we don’t have enough research in that area right now identifying sustainable practices educating practitioners helping people understand that they can and should choose the right plant and put it in the right place now I am going to end on the fact that consumer horticulture has many areas of impact I have only shared with you a couple that are near and dear to my heart my colleague from Oregon State University Gail Langellotto will be speaking to you in a little bit she’s also a part of this NICH effort again a collaborative effort to bring awareness to consumer horticulture and I appreciate the opportunity to share with you the value that consumer horticulture has in our current industry and what we can do to invest in it and support it into the future thank you any questions excellent we have a couple of handouts outside at the check-in table as well if you’re interested thank you okay so next up we have Matthew Baur okay so Matthew comes to us from the Western integrated pest management center as well welcome Matthew good morning and thank you director Ramaswamy and deputy director of Qureshi for the for the opportunity to provide input into the next USDA NIFA strategic plan funding pest management projects in early stages of development with small grants usually grants that are less than $50,000 in value and funding the pest management practitioner networks are critical to delivering pest management products that protect the agricultural enterprise USDA NIFA currently supports these efforts and we at the Western IPM center believe that support for these efforts should continue in my written statement I discussed the importance of funding projects and programs in the early stages of development I suggested that funding at this stage help to bring transformative research to practitioners that could be you they could use these tools I also discussed the importance of networks of pest management researchers and extension agents that function to disseminate the research results and increase the likelihood of implementation here I will provide specific examples of how this funding has helped specific projects and what suggest what successes these projects have achieved in 2015 Jeremiah Dunn received a $30,000 grant to develop a diagnostic test for ergot spores affecting grass seed production in Oregon and Washington and to start an alert system that would result in optimal timing of fungicide applications for ergot control in grass see production the project resulted in an effective test and a grower alert system which is in the form of a newsletter that helps time fungicide applications and prevent unnecessary fungicide use the alert system continues today with support from Oregon State University USDA ARS and Oregon and Washington seed grower grower Commission’s powdery mildew is a relatively recent new is a relatively recent problem for hop production in the pacific Northwest Ann George of the U.S. hop Commission has worked on this issue since about 2013 their group has identified several virulent strains of powder remove the pathogen powdery mildew and identified hop varieties that are especially sensitive to this problem recently work by David Gantt at Oregon demonstrated how early detection of the infection on farms in an area-wide effort can effectively limit the disease and the need for treatment the network of Extension agents and pest pest management practitioners will be essential going forward in the effort to achieve area-wide producer cooperation in the early detection of disease foci soil solarization has benefited from technological advancements including anti condensation plastic films but nurseries do not have information on how long the film should be left on under different climate conditions in the Pacific Northwest so Jennifer Parke is working on optimizing soil solarization for nurseries in the Pacific Northwest and is currently working on mathematical models with the help of Len Coop at USPest.org on developing and validating models for growers to use in 2010 Marion Murray at Utah State University began surveying tree fruit growers in Utah with a project worth about seven thousand dollars this work continues today and the survey provides important information for Utah State University IPM integrated pest management newsletter which provides important information for pest management practitioners in Utah this integrated pest management newsletter is broadly hailed as one of the best pest management newsletters in the West the project has attracted additional funding including specialty crop block grant Block Grants I hear I’ve tried to demonstrate with these specific examples how small grants provided through the USDA NIFA and funding of the network of researchers Extension agents and practitioners helps to deliver important tools to producers that transform how agriculture is practiced today thank you again for this opportunity [Applause] alright so next up we have Steve Elliott Steve are you out there Steve he is also from the Western integrated pest management center welcome Steve [Music] I am from the Western IPM center you’ve heard enough about integrated pest management I will talk about something different I’ve been the communication coordinator at the center for about four years and have been a public communicator for more than 30 so I was very very pleased to see communication as one of the four pillars of NIFA’s 2014 to 2018 strategic plan because that properly recognizes the important role communication does play can play in taking science from laboratories and experimental fields into the real world where it can improve people’s nutrition and food security quality of life and economic opportunity what the old strategic plan didn’t do however and and what a new strategic plan can and I urge should do is recognize that the communication should not be an after-the-fact activity that tells people what NIFA and NIFA funding did also the performance measures of the old plan focused on pretty strongly on youtube and twitter engagement and that’s that’s a very very narrow they’re measurable but they’re not necessarily the most meaningful measures instead I recommend NIFA focus on ways to integrate communication into its science mission so the communication is a part of the agency’s research extension and education activities not an afterthought by incorporating communication into research extension and education communicators can help scientists create the benefits that they’re trying to create and then the advancements the NIFA it desires and envisions not just promote them after they’ve been done there’s a substantial body of research that shows awareness of an issue even agreement with it does not necessarily lead to behavior change and NIFA has funded a great deal of excellent science that requires behavior change requires adoption to realize real-world benefits in areas like reduced tillage nitrogen and nutrient management cover cropping integrated pest management behavior change is necessary to realize the promise of the science communication properly prioritized and executed can help that there are a number of specific steps NIFA can take to move in this direction I’ll mention four involve communicators within the agency during program and RFA development prioritize integrated communication activities in those RFA’s and programs engage behavioral psychologists psychologists risk management experts economists and other social scientists to develop communication plans that go beyond awareness and get to behavior change and then fund research itself into communication that can help NIFA’s overall mission how can communication help us fund that kind of research a few quick examples of how it’s being done multiple efforts focused on stopping the spread of invasive species have made it very very easy for people to know what they’re all about don’t move firewood for instance is the name of the organization it’s the web address and it’s it’s the message all in one clean drain and dry is a checklist for boaters to keep aquatic pests from spreading and play clean go also the name of the organization tells outdoor recreation that’s exactly what they can do to keep from spreading invasive weeds and other pests with their bikes boots and other outdoor gear we’re looking at a similar idea at the Western integrated pest management center Amanda previewed it instead of talking about integrated pest management as a thing as a set of practices that people do or don’t do we’re looking to engage people around the concept of smart safe and sustainable pest management we’re looking to engage them to explore this idea of advancing this is an easy to grasp framework for how to manage pests almost a philosophy rather than specific tools or techniques and rather than the name integrated pest management what you then have to explain to a lot of people anyway we want to connect with people through the idea that successful pest management is smart safe and sustainable and then engage them exactly around what those concepts look like and whatever system they’re managing pests in from conventional organic agriculture to forest and rangelands to schools or communities at the National IPM Coordinating Committee meeting in Washington two weeks ago Sonny Ramaswamy spoke about the need for more communication about food and agriculture and in an afternoon workshop that same day that committee endorsed the idea of creating a new position a national IPM communicator to connect the dots in the research and the stories that the states and the regional IPM centers are already producing and to tell national stories that raise the profile of integrated pest management of smart safe and sustainable pest management to increase awareness and adoption it’s this idea of using communication to advance NIFA’s scientific mission and create positive outcomes that I’m recommending here today because it’s something NIFA can do that will help it accomplish everything else it wants to do thank you [Applause] I’m just curious if the group that you just referenced has given any thought to how to refer to IPM with the general public like you mentioned we all understand what IPM is in this room but it doesn’t necessarily translate to a general audience and and it’s difficult because it is such it varies in its practices from agriculture to homes to everything else and you’ve got to explain the name and this is what it means and everything else so in this room we can talk about IPM and integrated pest management to the general public let’s talk about smart safe and sustainable pest management and this is what that means in your garden this is where to get smart information this is where how to think about safety and how to think about sustainability and you can do that in a school setting because that’ll be quite different than an agricultural setting you can do that with production agriculture so we’re looking at talking about a concept rather than a thing you know that’s we’re in the process Amanda and I are working on a paper about it but hopefully it starts a different a different conversation most of NIFA integrated projects or programs or RFA’s require at least two out of three functions research education and extension and our assumption is that we are hopefully asking for proposals which do include communication plan which do include translation of research finding to the consumers which do include outreach component as explicit component so is that is your proposal of integrating communication into RFA’s more explicitly because currently it is little not very explicit is that the message I’m hearing you to a degree yes I can’t speak to all your RFA’s because I haven’t read them all but I’ve read many of them in the in a crop protection pest management area and specifically the RFA that funds the regional centers it’s gone through some changes we used to have five objectives and now we have seven objectives none of which are communicate the benefits of IPM to public to a regional audience you can infer a communication component in in several of them create information networks you know but none of them actually say communicate talk about the science broadly and as a result two of the four centers have full-time communicators and two don’t because we’ve interpreted it differently and it’s not specific and explicit thank you any other questions thank you all right so one talk between you and lunch do we have a Ruth Dahlquist-Willard okay Ruth is here from the University of California Cooperative Extension welcome Ruth well thank you for inviting us all to be here today and to share thoughts about needs and opportunities for research I’m Ruth Dahlquist-Willard I’m from the University of California Cooperative Extension in Fresno County on the small farms and specialty crops advisor and I want to talk today specifically about specialty crops and particularly new and emerging specialty crops so California has a huge specialty crop industry but there’s even more crops that we can grow in California that maybe we’re not growing now on a large scale so one thing I want to point out about new and emerging crops is that the research on those crops begins on a small scale so it might begin on smaller farms or in research trials usually doesn’t receive funding from commodity groups since there’s not a commodity group yet for those crops and so the small start of those crops is like an incubator that could grow into a larger industry so one example of that from the small farm program is Manuel Jimenez and also Richard Mullen are pretty much starting off blueberry production in California so in 1997 there were only 196 acres of blueberries and then now it’s a large industry there’s the California blueberry Commission there’s mergers between California companies and Chilean companies so it really took off but it started pretty small and so that’s one thing I want to point out in terms of funding is looking at RFP’s and when it’s desirable to have input from stakeholders and support from stakeholder groups that might not be the case for a crop that’s just starting out another example is dragon fruit or pitaya this is Ramiro Lobo he’s the small farms advisor in San Diego County and he’s been working for years on dragon fruit dragon fruit is another thing that’s kind of taken off this is from Jamba Juice the magic dragon fruit and they’ve had this huge promotional campaign if you go into Jamba Juice at one point there are all these posters on dragon fruit and it’s wonderful benefits this bright pink thing that people weren’t familiar with but through this marketing campaign there now for more familiar with it so when we look at emergency emergency emergening crops fo California specifically looking at crops that can address our environmental and economic challenges here so we’ve heard a lot of mention of the drought today so reducing water use crops that have lower water use requirements also when existing industries are threatened by invasive pests or diseases or other challenges looking for alternative crops and then we have this huge market potential I think in the West and also in the nation for niche at local markets things like farm to fork local craft beer that sort of stuff and also higher quality produce compared to imported produce or filling in gaps in availability when produce coming in from other areas is not available locally and I also think just the more diversification we have in the agricultural sector the more resilient it is to change economic change environmental change whatever the case may be so I want to highlight a few crops that people are working on now in either the small farm program or the UC system that kind of fit these criteria of emerging crops that might be able to help us meet some of these challenges so one of those is jujube jujube is a crop that’s grown on a small scale in the Central Valley now and also in Southern California it’s drought tolerant it’s got a very low water yeast requirement also has currently very low pest pressure and it has a huge potential as a fruit that could be available for processing so there’s a need for research on processing jujube post harvest as well as selecting varieties or cultivars breeding there’s a lot of newer varieties that are being developed in Korea that haven’t been trialed in the United States including some that are going towards not having a pit which would make processing a lot easier and I think jujube has a huge potential as fruit it’s not necessarily for fresh market but that could be included in things like granola trail mix baked goods when it is eaten fresh it’s not that exciting that kind of tastes like a dried apple but when it’s cooked it releases this flavor compacts that’s sort of like a date or a dried apple or a fig flavor combined and that’s another example of an emerging crop that could be grown on a larger scale if the research was done here’s another example from the small farm program if you look at this picture of a coffee farm that to me looks a lot like Central America the fog in the background with the hills the guy picking coffee that’s actually not in Central America it’s in Southern California in Santa Barbara area so this is good land organics in Goleta who’s been working with Mark Gaskell to grow coffee combined with avocados so this is a coffee and avocado farm and this is an example of a crop that you know it’s not you don’t think of coffee as being grown in California but there is a niche market for local coffee production and roasting that can add a lot of value to a small to mid-sized to mid scale farm operation so this is a quote from the owner about how he’s improved his his economic situation through adding coffee to avocado production and the willingness of people to pay for local products and there’s Marc working with the coffee plants so also tea is another crop that we don’t think of as being grown in the United States but it grows in California there’s actually been in the 1960s and 70s there were trials of tea plants at the Kearny Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Parlier California so that’s Jackie Gervay-Hague at UC Davis chemistry department and then Jeff Dahlberg the director of care with one of the original tea plants that was planted down there and then over here it’s a farm in Northern California of someone who’s growing their own tea it’s golden feather tea farms so that’s something that it’s not going to compete with obviously overseas imports of tea but there are local markets that that could potentially be accessed for local u.s. grown or California grown tea there’s also potential for water savings because deficit irrigation of tea could be done for particular flavor compounds or quality that could also result in water savings and then this is a crop that I’m working on now Moringa anybody heard of Moringa so it’s it’s usually known as a crop that’s promoted overseas for agricultural development work but it’s actually grown in California also so in the Central Valley there’s Hmong and Filipino growers that are cultivating it for smaller scale markets some at farmer’s markets so I’m selling to wholesalers so it’s also a crop that’s pretty drought tolerant very low water use requirement and it’s becoming more known as an emerging superfood so has very high mineral vitamin and protein content as well as anti-inflammatory anti-diabetic antioxidant compounds so it’s becoming more common to see Moringa products on the market you can see them at Whole Foods you can order that I’m online but almost all of that Moringa is sourced from outside the United States so there’s a potential for Moringa being grown within the United States as a more local source for some of these kinds of products and also for a fresh market so one more I want to mention is avocados Mary Lu Arpaia is trying to develop avocado varieties that are appropriate for the Central Valley and so we mentioned drought as one of the things to look for new crops to adapt to that situation another one is pest pressure so I know many people have already mentioned huánglóngbìng or citrus greening and the Asian citrus psyllid and obviously there’s many wonderful efforts underway to control the spread of that pests and that disease there’s also the potential that worst case scenario if it does spread in California there will be a lot of citrus growers that might be looking for a new crop and so her research avocado varieties that could potentially be grown instead of citrus in the Central Valley so just to wrap up some of the needs and opportunities regarding these new and emerging crops I mentioned earlier it’s more difficult to find funding for research on newer crops that aren’t supported by stakeholders and commodity boards as much so that’s something that I might just mention in terms of how proposals are evaluated or how broadly an RFA includes different kinds of crops but there are things that start small and then become become larger if they’re successful so I think it’s a really exciting new opportunity especially for things like adaptation to climate change and drought in the West alternatives to crops that might be threatened by invasive pests and then the potential to access new markets with new crops that haven’t been grown here before and then just the importance of diversification and the small start that can eventually create new industries so that’s it thank you again for allowing us to speak today and I’ll take any questions you have [Applause] it was a comment really that most of these emerging crops that you noted are perennials and is it generally the case that California with water issues that may be an important exemplar if you like moving forward that we’d favor perennials I don’t think it’s necessarily limited to perennials Moringa is actually can be grown as a perennial or an annual because it doesn’t survive the winter very well so it kind of depends how you’re growing it yeah that’s a good question I I think it’s true that those are all perennials I don’t think it necessarily exclude annuals though hi Luis Tupas the idea to try a new plant or even a new variety what’s the origin of that idea does it come from Cooperative Extension to try it does it come from a farmer who says hmm I like dragon fruit I’m gonna try this does it come from the AG Experiment Station who’s trying something new and they talk to you and say hey we found something new or combination of those things where does the creative process start because I think you know talking about means and opportunities that’s one of the things that will factor in that kind of development can you kind of take us through you know one of those well it depends on the crops there’s both examples of both of those things so with Moringa when I came into my job people were already growing it on a small scale and I was so fascinated to discover it there because I thought of it as a tropical print plant jujubes already being grown it that was started by farmers tea I think is more of a thing that was introduced by the Experiment Station so and I think coffee as well was I think I think Cooperative Extension was more than impetus for that than that growers so I think it depends that there’s both scenarios sometimes the growers have already started doing that and the extension agent or researcher might realize this is something that could be expanded and then sometimes it’s completely from the research side that let’s try this and see if it works okay thanks okay let’s give one more round to all the speakers this morning fantastic so we’re gonna break for lunch and say what that means for the folks online we’ll be back at one o’clock out here in California but that means let’s see three o’clock is that right three o’clock in central time and four am I right everybody’s looking at me I’m right alright three o’clock Central Time and four o’clock Eastern Time so we’ll see you back then Thanks

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